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Wednesday 08 April 2009

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Listen Up

11th March 2009

Amanda Palmer brings a killer show

Posted by: Kitten Power

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So who killed Amanda Palmer?  Well I don’t know.  But she sure slayed me last night.

Palmer strode onto the stage at Auckland’s The Studio clad in never-ending leather boots, a short skirt and a beat up t-shirt, clutching a handful of flowers.  The audience cheered and heckled, but was quickly lulled into silence as she stood waiting.  The she burst into a powerful rendition of The Wind That Shakes The Barley, with no backing, letting her voice do it all.

two.jpgShe then took a seat at her piano and burst into Astronaut, then Ampersand, both from her solo album Who Killed Amanda Palmer?

Palmer brought a stripped down show to Auckland after parting ways with performance troupe The Danger Ensemble in Australia - and it wasn’t long before she was stripping herself down, whipping off her shirt to reveal an incredibly sexy bodice.

There was a sense of loneliness around Palmer, she admitted herself “I’m not used playing alone, so I’m just going to sit here and play songs that occur to me.”

The intimacy of her loneliness made her performance even more honest, more real, more hilarious, more poignant and even more rollicking.

Palmer’s music choices ranged from a heartbreaking song written in response to the Columbine shootings, to the “controversial” single about teenage mindsets Oasis.  From ditties about lovers googling each other, to a cover of My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music. 

She also treated the crowd with a few Dresden Dolls tracks; Coin Operated Boy, Mrs O, finishing the show with a crowd-favourite Girl Anachronism.

Palmer’s easy connection with her audience is incredible.  Most touring artists struggle through a few mumbled attempts at “Hello Auckland”, but when Palmer chats between songs it almost feels like you’re hanging out in your lounge with a friend who is jamming a few tunes.  She weaves stories, she jokes, she dips into quiet sincerity - and she listens to what people shout out.

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There was also a segment called “Ask Amanda Anything” where pre-gathered audience questions were read out.  Palmer was asked questions like what her favourite Neil Gaiman book and David Bowie record were, whether she was too classy for cask wine (the answer - no, she’s definitely not) and why she was so sexy - which she decided was a rhetorical question.

Although she may be feeling a little lonely, Palmer doesn’t need to worry about the solo-power she wields over her audience.  She’s a one-woman danger ensemble.

Amanda Palmer plays Bar Bodega in Wellington on Thursday March 12.

Tags: General · Music

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